Is America a Christian Nation?

I know we all have our views one way or another on this matter. I do NOT want your opinion; I want your proof or evidence, or at least speculated evidence.

I am writing a lengthy research report, which I may turn into a book, on the matter and I would like to touch on as many things as possible. I've noticed that many people who tackle this question only cover one side and do not refute arguments from the other. My goal is to have the most complete research report on the subject.

Anything from the 6th article of the Constitution, to the first amendment, to the Treaty of Tripoli, to chain emails regarding the subject are welcome. If someone else has published anything tackling America being a Christian Nation, I would love to get my hands on this.

The person with the most arguments will be awarded best answer. In the event of a tie, the person with the most obscure, but able to be researched, arguments will win.

Thank you.

Drinking is permitted. =P

Update:

Paul H -- I wish I was kidding. Most people know this is a secular nation, but many are pushing that it is a Christian Nation. Their numbers are scary.

27 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The US is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a "Christian nation" (by which those who assert to the contrary always mean Protestant Christianity, specifically a fundamentalist view).

    Constitutionally, one need look no further than this statement by Justice John Paul Stevens: "When the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all."

    I hope in your research you take a very close look at dominionism, which is what a tight coalition of fundamentalist activists are working hard to achieve -- and they are very well-funded. This quote from George Grant (The Changing of the Guard, Dominion Press, 1987) stands as a credo of sorts for dominionism, and was echoed very recently in a speech by would-be presidential candidate Huckabee (who coincidentally also co-authored a book with Grant) when he stated it was time to "take this country back for Christ":

    "Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ - to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish".

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't believe it's any more Christian than Canada or England. We have some groups that CLAIM to be Christians that THEY (lucky them) don't. For instance, we have cult-like Baptist churches that make up their own rules and try to control everyone and are racist and homophobic. There are also: Southern Baptists, Mormons, and those churches that preach SPECIFICALLY against blacks, and chruches that preach specifically against gays. And then there's those BIG groups of Catholics that claim to be Christians, but actually, only I'd say a tiny handfull of Catholics have actually been born again and are true Christians. When you narrow down true Christianity that way, no, I would say America's going to the dogs, and that we are not a Christian nation at all. There are true Christians there, but there are all over the world. We just happen to have a big population. You may as well say that Canada's a Christian Nation, or the UK is a Christian Nation, or Australia's a Christian Nation...Just because America was founded by lots of Christians doesn't mean anything...

  • xx.
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    In response to the first answer, you CANNOT rely on fragments and phrases which containg "god" in them to prove that this is a "Christian" nation. The Treaty of Tripoli, of course, CLEARLY delineates that this nation was not founded on Christianity. I don't know how much clearer they could possibly get.

    Also if this were a Christian nation, we would be a theocracy and not a democracy.

    America is one of the biggest salad bowls in the world concerning religion (I don't use "melting pot" because it's less accurate). Try reading "Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern American".

    The only reason people try to call this a Christian nation is so that they can legislate the Bible. (for example, "This is a Christian nation, isn't it? So we shouldn't let gays get married because it goes against the morality of this nation")

    If this were a Christian nation, I'd be in jail for being pagan. Adultery would be illegal. Birth control would be illegal. Gays who acted on their impulses would be in jail. Slavery would still be legal (they DID use the Bible to justify slavery- don't try to deny historical fact). Abortions would be illegal. Science teachers would be in jail for teaching evolution. Drinking alcohol would be illegal. You get the general idea.

  • Rah!!
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    As you can see by demographic charts Christianity is by far the most populous religion in the US. Although they are the most populous it seems that a good deal of Christians are becoming Atheist/Agnostic. Even some Christians have become Pagans,Muslims,Jews, and other religions. So yes Christianity is America's religion if one had to be picked. But I'd have to say Christianity is on the way out the door.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The "Christianity isn't a religion. It's a relationship" phrase makes about as much sense as "An apple is not food. It's a fruit:.

    This was during the time of the enlightenment and people were beginning to express themselves without fear of religious backlash. This country was founded by men who were either Christian or generally theists.

    It is not logical to say that the US is a Christian nation because its founders were. This would be like saying that Mormonism is considered Christian because Joseph Smith was a Christian. No. It doesn't work like that.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    America was founded on freedom of religion not a religion.

    Freedom to believe or not believe.

    The United States Of America has never been a Christian nation.

  • 1 decade ago

    "The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine."

    -George Washington.

    "The government United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian religion."

    -Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 (8 US at L 154)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It lost any claim it might have had when it abolished slavery. The Confederacy on the other hand declared itself Christian in its constitution and justified its practice of slavery on the bible. Other Christian practices based on the bible such as witch burning, killing homosexuals and executing children for disrespecting their parents are also illegal.

    If this was really a Christian nation you wouldn't be able to buy clothes with mixed fibers at Walmart. Rape victims would be forced to marry their rapists etc. No country has followed true Christian rules for centuries.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Of course, there is the first amendment to the Constitution, which begins:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

    Then the Treaty of Tripoli which asserted:

    " As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion ...."

    Thomas Jefferson articulates this quite well, as he can be quoted:

    "I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshiped by many who think themselves Christians."

    "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."

    "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites."

    "Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law."

    "It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one. But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests."

    "But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State."

    "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose."

    "On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind."

  • Barney
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    There is no Christian nation, only Christians in every nation. Jesus said to go and make disciples of people of all nations. So while Christians reside in every nation, they are a nation to themselves as subjects of God's Kingdom, a world wide brotherhood.

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